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Cannabinoids and epilepsy

Rosenberg, E. C., Tsien, R. W., Whalley, B. J. and Devinsky, O. (2015) Cannabinoids and epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics, 12 (4). pp. 747-768. ISSN 1933-7213

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s13311-015-0375-5

Abstract/Summary

Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat seizures. Recent anecdotal reports, accumulating animal model data, and mechanistic insights have raised interest in cannabis-based antiepileptic therapies. In this study, we review current understanding of the endocannabinoid system, characterize the pro- and anticonvulsive effects of cannabinoids [e.g., Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (CBD)], and high-light scientific evidence from pre-clinical and clinical trials of cannabinoids in epilepsy. These studies suggest that CBD avoids the psychoactive effects of the endocannabinoid system to provide a well-tolerated, promising therapeutic for the treatment of seizures, while whole-plant cannabis can both contribute to and reduce seizures. Finally, we discuss results from a new multicenter, open-label study using CBD in a population with treatment-resistant epilepsy. In all, we seek to evaluate our current understanding of cannabinoids in epilepsy and guide future basic science and clinical studies.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Division of Pharmacology
ID Code:43744
Publisher:Springer

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